A Pakistani province is planning to invest in crypto-mining, Reuters reports. This revelation by a government minister will see two new hydro-electric powered mining farms built in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The pilot project will be overseen by the recently formed Advisory Committee for Cryptocurrency and Crypto Mining which was created to review and discuss potential regulation, legalization, and legislation of cryptocurrency in the province. In December last year, the KP government supported and passed a resolution to legalize cryptocurrency and crypto mining.
Neighbouring India has not been so open with regards to its stance on cryptocurrency. The proposed ‘blanket ban’ of cryptocurrencies in India has been met with a great deal of outrage by advocates of the digital currency, both in India and globally. A recent bill proposal outlined the conditions that current holders of cryptocurrency would have to meet, including liquidating crypto-assets within six months or facing severe penalties.
The KP province of Pakistan has been open to cryptocurrency investment for some time. The science and technology advisor to the provincial government and well known crypto influencer, Zia Ullah Bangasg, revealed:
“People have already been approaching us for investment, and we want them to come to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, earn some money and have the province earn from that as well”.
Federal authorities in Pakistan have historically been less than accommodating of cryptocurrencies until recently. In 2018 the State Bank of Pakistan said that cryptocurrencies were not legal tender, and the police in Pakistan had concerns surrounding the use of digital currencies for terror financing. As it currently stands the country is on the Financial Action Task Force’s watch list.
While the Federal government’s stance is still not clear on the subject of cryptocurrency, Pakistan is slowly beginning to make moves towards regulation. Independent blockchain and cryptocurrency expert Hassan Raza responded to the possibility earlier this year of a complete ban on blockchain-based payment networks, which is “out of the question.” “Terror financing is also done via the banking system, but those have not been banned,” he said, noting instead that the government should regulate rather than ban.
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